Poor need quality medical care: Bhandare

Bhubaneswar: Medical practitioners and researchers must find ways to ensure access to quality medical treatment to the poor at low cost at a time when new infections are emerging, Orissa Governor M C Bhandare said.

"Medical treatment has become expensive and beyond the reach of the common man, not to speak of the poor", the Governor said addressing the convocation of National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) held at Siksha-O-Anusandhan Deemed to be University here last evening.

Voicing concern over the scenario, he urged medical professionals to seriously ponder over this issue. The three-day annual conference of NAMS, an apex body of senior medical professionals, researchers and health policymakers, being held in Odisha for the first time, ended today.

Pointing out that health did not merely mean absence of disease, Bhandare said it pertained to the overall physical, social and mental well-being of a person and required the access of common people to universal health care.

The governor said Orissa languished at the bottom of the national health scenario on several counts which included high Infant Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Rate requiring strengthening of the health care system. Lack of awareness was one of the biggest reasons for the dismal health scenario, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of Medical Council of India Dr K K Talwar said NAMS was actively involved in public health issues at a time when medical education was facing several challenges. The doctor-patient ratio in India today stood at 1:1700 when ideally it should be 1:1000, he pointed out.